What to do if you failed your IB exams

ib exams
It is not the end of the road if you fail any exam. Source: Anthony Kwan/AFP

IB exams take two years of intense prep. Make it and you have a globally-recognised set of grades for university admission. Fail, and it can be crushing. 

It is, however, not the end of the road. First of all, do not stress and worry about it. There are many options to consider, all of which are valid and come with their own set of benefits. Below is what you know if you failed your IB exams and what options are available to you next:

How the IB exams are assessed

To get your IB Diploma, there are two types of assessments to go through: external and internal. The external assessment is done through essays, structured problems, and different types of questions such as data response and case-study questions.

The internal assessment is used for certain courses. This includes oral work in languages, fieldwork in geography, lab work in sciences, investigation in mathematics and artistic performances. 

Why is the IB harder than its equivalents?

The IB exams are arguably harder than programmes such as the A Levels because students must study six subjects, plus complete three core elements: Theory of knowledge, Extended Essay, as well as Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS). To pass the IB exams and assessments, you’ll need a minimum score of 24 points or at least four points in each subject.

Resitting your IB exams

You’re allowed to retake all of your six academic subjects as long as it’s offered by your IB World School. The number of times you can retake a subject is up to three in three different exam sessions. Check for the nitty gritty details at your school as it may follow different regulations. 

If you want to retake in November, you’d need to register by July 29 to qualify for lower registration fees. Registrations after Oct. 15, 2021 will not be accepted. 

IB exams

You’re allowed to retake all of your six academic subjects as long as it’s offered by your IB World School. Source: Cristina Quicler/AFP

If you’re resitting in May, your deadline would be January 29 if you want to qualify for lower registration fees. Otherwise, the final deadline is April 15. 

Note that your IB World School’s may have internal deadlines for registration as well so it’s always best to check with your advisors and not leave it to the last minute!

Preparing for exams again

Although your school may offer you a wide range of support, getting a personal tutor could give you a greater advantage. There are online options, such as Elite IB Tutors, that offer individual proposals tailored to your needs and taught by a range of tutors, from 45-pointers to IB Examiners.

Getting support from your friends and family is also something that would be important to do. Get organised by forming a study plan and don’t forget to schedule in regular breaks and time to unwind. Last but not least, make sure to stay healthy, physically and mentally. Eat right, get enough sleep and keep active — all of this will help keep you balanced and in the right state of mind.